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Biographical entry Pratt, David (1930 - 2006)

MRCS and FRCS 1962; BSc Leeds 1951; MB BCh 1954; LRCP 1962.

23 May 2006
General surgeon and Vascular surgeon


David Pratt was a consultant general and vascular surgeon at St James’s University Hospital, Leeds. He studied medicine in Leeds, where he had a distinguished undergraduate career, gaining first class honours and graduating with distinctions in surgery and forensic medicine. After house appointments, he served as a surgeon lieutenant on HMS Eagle during the Suez Crisis. He returned to Leeds, where he completed his surgical training. In 1962 he gained his FRCS, winning the Wilson Hey gold medal.

He was appointed as a consultant to St James’s and Chapel Allerton hospitals, Leeds. His consultant career was marked by great diagnostic flair and superb technical skills: but above all he is remembered by patients for his caring personality and by his colleagues for the help he gave them in difficult times. Behind an unassuming demeanour there was a lively mind and a gentle sense of humour.

David was a valued member of the Travelling Surgical Society of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from 1971 onwards. He and his wife, Libby, made many friends when attending overseas and home meetings. He was greatly respected in this forum of surgeons whose members represent most parts of the UK and many specialties. He was also a member of the Vascular Society and many of his publications reflected this interest; his wider knowledge of surgery was apparent in other papers and lectures. During a visit of the Travelling Surgical Society to Gibraltar and southern Spain he gave a paper on ‘Delorme’s procedure’ illustrated by his own pastel drawings: colo-proctologists present were surprised at the depth of his knowledge and his carefully assessed results.

His other interests included photography, domestic cooking and watercolour painting in which in retirement he took lessons.

He died suddenly at home of acute coronary insufficiency on 23 May 2006. He is survived by Libby and three sons.

Alan Green

Sources used to compile this entry: [BMJ 2006 334 265; Travelling Surgical Society Reports and Minutes 1970-2006].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England